At last, the 1957 show

Why is it that a shot I think is “ok but nothing special” seems to have resonated with others.

Here is the image:

It started as a colour dng file taken with my M9 and the amazing 50mm Noctilux 0.95. I cropped out some empty paving in the foreground and some distracting bright highlights at the top. I burned some of the still bright areas and I lifted the shadows a little and dodged the bottom left hand corner up to and including the people seated. The bulk of the processing was done in Lightroom 3 and then Silver Efex Pro v2.

For the techies it was shot at 1/45 handheld, ISO 160, F5.6. The speed was not quite enough to stop the blur on the girl’s heel bit otherwise it is pretty sharp for handheld.

Certainly I think it has that certain Leica creaminess to it. Smooth as one person said. Another suggested it looked like it came from 1957 and another suggested the girl’s dress added that retro look. The buildings are old and the scene is typically crowded for any old Hong Kong town shot. No space wasted. The balconies are used to the full. So maybe the attraction is in the nostalgia, the black & white adding to that feel of something missing today where everything is HDR and Velvia saturated. And just to pacify Velvia fans, I shot Velvia for many years before I went digital. Nothing wrong with it. Or maybe I mean the late, great Kodachrome… How did Paul Simon put it?

You give us those nice bright colors 
You give us the greens of summers 
Makes you think all the world’s a sunny day, oh yeah! 
I got a Nikon camera 
I love to take a photograph 
So Mama, don’t take my Kodachrome away

Or perhaps it was Steve McCurry? Sorry, Steve. We’re all Kodachromed out. I am sure though that NIK can replicate Kodachrome just as they can Tri X.


2 thoughts on “At last, the 1957 show

  1. I can’t say why this resonates with others, or myself for that matter ( unfortunately, I’m not wired that way…I just respond, which explains some of my less than successful images), but it is a pleasing image with a feel that may be retro or just plain comfortable.
    The work you put into the image certainly plays a part in its appeal as well.

  2. Nice one Andrew, it does have a very retro feel, and perhaps that blur in the heel adds to that… It’s all about “freezing” action these days 🙂 The bike is most definitely 21st century though…

I'd be delighted to hear what you think

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